The University of Alabama has hired Buffalo's Nate Oats as the team's new head basketball coach, director of athletics Greg Byrne announced on Wednesday.
The move comes just three days after Alabama parted ways with Avery Johnson, who spent four years with the team.
Oats, who was named the 2018 and 2019 Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year, comes to Alabama after spending the last four seasons at the University of Buffalo. Under his lead, the Bulls tallied a 96–43 record, won three MAC tournament championships and made three NCAA tournament appearances. They reached the Round of 32 in each of the last two seasons.
Buffalo went 32–4 overall this season, was 16–2 in conference play and was ranked as high as No. 14 in the nation at one point during the year, the highest ranking by any MAC team in the past 40 years.
"We are thrilled to welcome Nate and Crystal Oats and their three daughters to The University of Alabama," Byrne said. “I have been watching Coach Oats for the last few years as he has led the University at Buffalo to unprecedented heights. His commitment to developing the student-athlete both on and off the court was what really stuck out. As we spoke to some of the best college and pro basketball minds in the country, his name came up time and time again. Coach Oats will hit the ground running starting tonight, and we look forward to him having a long and successful career with the Alabama Crimson Tide.”
Before being named Buffalo's head coach, Oats previously served as an assistant under Bobby Hurley. Oats also spent 11 years at Romulus High School near Detroit, accumulating a 222–52 record and winning a state Class A championship in 2013.
"Coach Oats has an impressive background,” University of Alabama President Dr. Stuart Bell said. “He is exactly what we were looking for in this search. I’m excited about the future of Alabama basketball, and I know our fans are as well.”
Oats is now the 21st head coach in Alabama basketball's 106-year history.